Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey announced the hiring of Gumpert, who came to be known as one of Hollywood’s most savvy dealmakers at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he last served as president of worldwide business affairs and operations for the Sony’s Motion Picture Group.
The COO job will put Gumpert in charge of business affairs and home entertainment, and television transactional distribution, while also overseeing the studio’s operations — ranging from strategic planning, to labor relations, to parks and resorts.
Gumpert replaces long-time COO Frederick Huntsberry, who was at Paramount for a decade.
In a statement, Grey called Gumpert “one of the most respected executives in our industry,” who he lauded for his “hard work, integrity, steady hand, and business acumen.” Gumpert, in turn, said he was looking forward to working with Paramount and its “talented group of executives.”
At Sony, Gumpert arranged the studio’s financial partnerships with MGM, Lone Star Capital, Village Roadshow, and, recently, China’s Dalian Wanda Group. He joined Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2005 as executive vice president of business affairs for Columbia Pictures. He previously led business and legal affairs for Miramax’s Dimension Films division.
Variety broke the news last month that more than a dozen executives at Sony had lodged complaints about Tom Rothman, the chairman of the studio’s Motion Picture Group. They said the studio boss had made their jobs more difficult because of his micro-management and contentious manner. Several, including Gumpert, threatened to leave the studio if Rothman remained on the job.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton gave a vote of confidence to Rothman, as did the executives in Japan who oversee the studio. Gumpert left the studio on Nov. 8.